On 26 October 2021, the European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI) awarded the best European innovations in the railway industry at the SIFER rail technology fair in Lille.
The Austrian company PJ Monitoring (PJM) GmbH received the prize in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) category for its "Waggon Tracker". In the large enterprise category, the jury was convinced by the innovation "Bozankaya Battery Tram", which was developed by the eponymous company Bozankaya based in Turkey. From the remaining SME nominations, even three companies were honoured this year with the "Coup de Cœur" award, the jury prize for special recognition of strong achievements: Everysens from France, Te.Si.Fer from Italy and the Berlin startup PANTOhealth.
The total of 23 participating companies were evaluated by a European jury composed of railway experts from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
The winners in detail
► PJ Monitoring (PJM) GmbH with their innovative ‘Waggon Tracker’ (Austria)
Company: PJM is an internationally renowned specialist in the field of railway systems. Based in Austria, PJM is a technology leader for a wide range of forward-looking solutions and railway automation. Website: www.pjm.co.at
Innovation: The WaggonTracker is a platform which combines monitoring and automation; PJM has designed a robust overall system which is also very efficient; moreover, it provides automated processes plus crucial information about the vehicle fleet in real-time.
Advantages: It is the only system worldwide providing a range of automation features including monitoring and automation functionalities; it is a proven and patented system which is manufactured in series-production; it is the only digital wagon backbone which facilitates the integration and connection of all wagons’ components such as couplers, brakes etc.
► Bozankaya with their innovative ‘Bozankaya Battery Tram’ (Turkey)
Company: Bozankaya was founded in 1989 in Germany as an R&D company. In 2003, the company expanded to Turkey, where it became a powerful domestic brand, building on its R&D investments of the previous years. The company has a strong track record as an innovator in developing and manufacturing environmentally friendly, energy saving, low-noise vehicles, offering clients an advantageous combination of attractive investment and operating cost. Website: www.bozankaya.com
Innovation: With the high voltage battery application integrated into the tram drive system, catenary-free drive is provided; due to this battery concept based on Lithium-ion chemistry, it is possible to drive 63 km without a catenary under normal operating conditions.
Advantages: Savings in Overhead Line Electrification (OLE) investment; savings in infrastructure maintenance and servicing costs; provides an aesthetic electrification solution and prevents visual pollution
► Everysens with their innovation ‘TVMS’ (France)
Company: IoT, AI and Big Data technologies are only means to an end, these technologies must be put at the service of human beings to handle industrial use cases and allow their necessary return on investment. This approach is at the heart of Everysens’ DNA. Website: www.everysens.com
Innovation: Everysens offers the first Transport Visibility & Management System (TVMS) that integrates field visibility data deep into your transport processes. The system enables the purchase, planning, tracking and optimising in real time of all your Supply Chain flows on a collaborative and predictive platform.
Advantages: Better customer service in terms of planning and visibility; cost reductions of 10-20% with control over resources and purchases; operational excellence through automation of the processes for all actors in the rail and road logistics chains; reduced carbon footprint based on real data from the field and by promoting intermodal transport.
► PANTOhealth GmbH with their innovation ‘Predictive Maintenance via Real & Synthetic Data’ (Germany)
Company: PANTOhealth combines Simulation and IIoT and Predictive Analytic methods to deliver real-time monitoring and predictive maintenance reports for railway infrastructures. Website: www.pantohealth.com
Innovation: The PANTOhealth mathematical model using the collected data from monitoring hardware can estimate meaningful data that directly determines the condition of the monitored system. Additionally, the simulation engine, based on the mathematical model, can generate labelled synthetic data to train the AI engine.
Advantages: The prediction of the failure is faster, with higher accuracy; the mathematical model helps to estimate some essential parameters based on monitoring parameters; the monitoring hardware is comprehensive and can collect data continuously.
► Te.Si.Fer Srl with their innovation ‘SmartTrack’(Italy)
Company: For more than 15 years, Te.Si.Fer has specialised in the design of signalling and telecommunication plants for railways, subways and tramways with worldwide experience in every phase from initial survey through to commissioning. Website: www.tesifer.it
Innovation: The SmartTrack software platform collects data, from any type of survey, and manages all the digitalized railway information to obtain a unique database. The solution was developed to answer three major challenges affecting the design, installation and management of signalling systems, including ERTMS.
Advantages: Time and cost reduction in all railway design phases; storing of data used in the continuous maintenance of ERTMS and railway infrastructure; delivering digital-native data transcoded into a unique format – based on the European RailML® Standard.
ERCI - Strong for SMEs from the railway sector
The European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI) unites 16 railway technology clusters with members from 17 countries (besides Germany from France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey).